Kara the Mom Nurse to Five and today I wanted to give you some helpful steps that can get you sharing confidently with your children about what good touch is and what bad touch is.
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Rewind a Few Years...
When my 2nd grader came home a few years back with a note from the health class about teaching good touch/bad touch, at first my heart sunk and my feelings were like... REALLY??? SECOND GRADE??? It was very much child based of course, but I was starting to wonder why they are starting to teach our kids in second grade.
We are a christian home with lutheran values and I personally only ever went through the class on puberty in about 5th grade or so. I was really torn about sending my second grader but I chose to do it anyway.
Fast forward a few years...
Now I couldn't agree more that in fact the teaching of good touch/bad touch needs to start when they are toddlers. It doesn't need to be complex. Just a simple system is fine, and use the CORRECT terminology. We call ears, ears right?
Please don't call the vagina something cute because you have a hard time saying such a taboo word yourself. Don't call the penis something cute either because you don't want your boy yelling PENIS when he's two in the church bench.
I'd rather have my child yell PENIS in the church bench than to later deal with the consequences when something actually does happen later.
First get your mind right. Tell yourself that it's OK to talk to your children about sexuality as it IS part of who we are. Would you rather be hearing later that your two year old was sexually abused and didn't even KNOW it was wrong? I would rather parents be open about this subject than to hear later that something happened and you have that guilt for the rest of your life.
I would recommend ordering this book set here, there are four books that start from age 3 up to age 16. (Personally I would start when they are a baby getting comfortable telling them what their body parts are, and implementing good touch/bad touch right away)
Click the Picture to order these christian based books.
Read the books or find resources on the internet to get you comfortable with teaching your children about their body and sexuality. The website I recommend is Darkness to Light. But even being uncomfortable with teaching your kids is ok, because chances are they are going to pick up on your vibe anyway. Just be up front with them and say something like, "ahhhh-you know this subject makes me a bit uncomfortable, but I want us to be open about it and be able to chat about it." or similar.
Do it scared, do it anyway. You will NEVER feel guilty for teaching your children about this topic in today's world.
Read the books to your children, and keep them accessible for them to read and look at when they want to. Regularly read them, it doesn't have to be every day or every week, whatever is best for your family. If its once a month or once a quarter, just keep the topic open and honest.
Ask your children if they have any questions for you. Continue to ask. Most of the time they aren't going to come to you and ask you if it's ok that uncle touched their bottom. So ask age appropriate, but direct questions to your children. We can't beat around the bush when it comes to our children, WE ARE OUR CHILDREN'S ADVOCATES. Keep prodding if you suspect something.
Hang a chart like this on the side of the fridge where the kids see it regularly. Talk with them regularly about it. Remind them about it.
When or If something does happen...
Please seek help. This is a difficult subject, but please please please seek professional help. This is just a guide to educating your children on this subject but I have been through this end of it and I want to encourage you to get the help you need.
Sexual Abuse can and does happen more frequently than we think, and to our most beloved. We cannot live in fear, we must RISE from the fear and educate our children so they can educate their children as well. Start the cycle now so that history doesn't have to repeat.
You got this mama!!!
Kara- The Mom Nurse
Please also share this post with your mama friends, so they can also educate their children.
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P.S. When you are ready, here are a few things that I can help you with:
~The Idea Cloud. It's what I created to keep your kids off the screen and busy doing things that I did as a kid! :-)